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Tell us something we didn't already know.

(21 Posts)
gillybob Mon 26-Mar-18 12:52:46

So its official "Children in the North face double whammy of poverty and bad schools"

According to Children's Commissioner Anne Longfield and a new report entitled Growing Up North.

What, if anything can be done to ensure our children in the North have as bright a future and prospects as children growing up in The South?

paddyann Mon 26-Mar-18 13:21:46

get a government that gives a damn ...and I'm not joking.The longer the tories are in power the worse it will be for children in the UK .I dont understand why anyone voted for them with the record they have .Mind you theres not much between them and labour so maybe a resurge in Lib Dems is what England needs .

lemongrove Mon 26-Mar-18 14:06:07

gilly there are many low income families and poor schools in the South as well.In fact, London probably has the most ( in the South.)

Gerispringer Mon 26-Mar-18 14:19:29

London has the best performing schools. A child on free school meals in a London school has more than double the chance of attending university than a child from a similar background in the north. Coastal towns in the south have many poorly performing schools as well. It could be a combination of several factors- better funding in the past for London schools, higher % of immigrant parents with high expectations and the immediacy of seeing how "the other half lives" - lots of wealthy areas cheek by jowl with the poorer.

gillybob Mon 26-Mar-18 14:30:56

This is nothing new thoughpaddyann and it hasn't just happened since we have had a Tory government .

Successive governments have let down the North and it's children. All have encouraged Southern growth and let the Northern regions just fall by the way side meaning that there are a distinct lack of jobs and inspiration for children.

"The report found that children were proud to be northern and did not want to live in London. Many felt there were more opportunities and more money available in the capital, but most did not want to live there for any length of time"

and why on earth should they?

gillybob Mon 26-Mar-18 14:33:50

I appreciate that may be so lemongrove but this report clearly shows the distinct disadvantage to children in the North.

durhamjen Mon 26-Mar-18 16:27:28

And says that those poor students in London fare the best.
Perhaps best to read the report before making comparisons.

OldMeg Mon 26-Mar-18 16:41:04

Though NOT a Blair fan, his government poured money and resources into Education, Education, Education. That was a time when class sizes came down, LEAs worked with schools and extra TAs were employed.

I’m afraid it is true that the Tory government have cut funding to schools, taken powers away from local authorities (who were best placed to understand local needs and demographs) and cut TAs, all in the name of austerity, closed Children’s Centres etc..

In fact, much as in the same way they have decimated the NHS.

durhamjen Mon 26-Mar-18 17:14:58

There's an article in the i today entitled "Universities urged to set up specialist maths free schools."
My first thought was to wonder why they wanted maths-free schools. Then I read the article.
They are actually free schools for sixth formers, one in London and one in Exeter. That plan has been going for four years, and they have managed just two centres.

maryeliza54 Mon 26-Mar-18 17:47:50

And the wonderful Sure Start centres have been decimated

maryeliza54 Mon 26-Mar-18 17:54:04

Read this lemon and then re-read your post

maryeliza54 Mon 26-Mar-18 17:54:33

Oh flipping heck - wrong link - will try again

maryeliza54 Mon 26-Mar-18 17:56:39

Here we go

Gerispringer Mon 26-Mar-18 18:02:29

In the Blair years there was a programme called the London Challenge which gave funding to schools to boost their gifted and talented students as well as those with additional learning needs. This gave rise to additional staffing, technology , extra curricular activities etc and did see a boost in performance in London schools . Children on free school meals in London schools are 40% more likely to gain good GCSE s than similar children in the north and twice as likely to attend university. With funding cuts it will be interesting to see if this trend is reversed and there will be a slump in achievement in the capital. Which surely is not a cause for celebration. We should aim to be raising achievement for all - not a race to the bottom. Just taking funds away from London schools to give greater “equality” is not the answer, we should be applying the successful model nationally. Can’t see it happening somehow.

gillybob Mon 26-Mar-18 18:14:15

Who mentioned taking funds from London schools ? Funding should be equal countrywide .

This is about the FACT that Northern children are at a distinct disadvantage , something they no government seems to address.

varian Mon 26-Mar-18 18:23:12

I think that Labour government did well to improve the standard of schools in London. What we need now is for the equivalent investment to be made everywhere else where it is needed.

When I became a school governor in the 1980s, my rural English county was the worst in England for Primary schools and the second worst for Secondary schools in terms of pupil/teacher ratios. The County Councillors on the Conservative controlled education committee all sent their own children to private schools.

Our local Primary school had 7 teachers for 7 age groups but then the number of children in the school fell 2 below the required number for 7 teachers. Almost all of the children in the school were affected by the reshuffle of classes when the school lost that teacher. One of my children, who was one of the youngest in her year, only had one term in the top class at primary school and she was in a class of 41!!!!

We went up to Scotland to visit relations at that time and were told that in Scotland the legal maximum number of children in a primary school class was 32, but if the class had mixed age groups, as was the case in our school, the limit would be 25 children.

When the County Council was taken over by the Liberal Democrats everything changed very much for the better. The County Councillors on the Education Committee sent their own children to County schools. There was a huge investment in education, including community education which opened up opportunities to people of all ages. Sadly that has now all been destroyed.

Gerispringer Mon 26-Mar-18 18:51:56

Well this government has taken funds away from London schools in their “fair funding” formula. Yes the funding should be equal, but not by lowering London’s funding where there has been success. It should be equally good nationally, but this hasn’t happened.

Iam64 Mon 26-Mar-18 19:06:22

I'm in the north west and feel strongly that comments here about children (and adults) in the north being disadvantaged and ignored by government. As Old Meg says, the Blair government poured money into schools. I was working in areas of high deprivation and remember the huge improvements during those early years of the Blair government. The community schools that were set up, which had libraries, community health centres, family centres etc on the base made huge positive differences to the communities they served.
Is it possible the children in the north who are not achieving as well as those in the south, are dispirited by the high levels of unemployment. Many families are 3rd and 4th generation unemployed so there are no positive role models and often an expectation that signing on is the way to go.
It's dispiriting. I live in an area that no longer has the skilled workforce it has and still needs. Apprenticeships are poor, hard to get and frankly often not what they should be.
Sorry for being so negative but it's very sad to see so many young people disenfranchised and disillusioned.

tessagee Mon 26-Mar-18 19:21:16

When I moved to the North West just under 10 years ago our local primary school was consistently top in the area. Now it isn't even anywhere in the top ten and no one seems to care. It is so distressing.

durhamjen Mon 26-Mar-18 19:30:45

That's a problem as well; league tables. No benefit, just competition.

gillybob Mon 26-Mar-18 21:27:17

Is it possible the children in the north who are not achieving as well as those in the south, are dispirited by the high levels of unemployment. Many families are 3rd and 4th generation unemployed so there are no positive role models and often an expectation that signing on is the way to go

Yes Iam64 I think that this is very much part of the problem. A lot of children in the North are growing up without aspiration and little or no prospect of finding decent employment after school it’s a kind of hopelessness. In interviews many of the young people said pretty much just that.